The McMaster women’s basketball team used a strong second quarter to build up a lead and followed through with a 76-54 victory over the Victoria Vikes in Saturday’s (Dec. 28) opening round of the Thunder Selects Holiday tournament being hosted at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, N.S.
With a record of 7-3 in the Canada West conference, Victoria is a quality squad that is coached by former Marauder player Dani Sinclair.
The teams played very even through the first quarter with McMaster going inside for scoring from Hailey Milligan and after 10 minutes the Marauders held a 16-15 lead.
In the second quarter, the Maroon continued to feed Milligan inside but also received a spark off the bench as Liz Burns, Claire Kenney, and Lexi Spadafora all hit the score sheet. The Marauders outscored the Vikes 19-4 to start the quarter to take their biggest lead to that point at 35-19. Victoria was able to trim the deficit to 40-25 by intermission, leaving McMaster with a commanding lead.
As expected, Victoria came out hard to start the third quarter and managed to get within 10, but Milligan scored eight straight points to quell the comeback and McMaster grabbed the momentum and built the advantage to 64-44 heading to the final stanza.
McMaster played steady in the fourth quarter, making good use of the shot clock and maintaining solid ball pressure on the struggling Vikes. The sustained run that Victoria needed to get back in the game never happened and the Marauders were able to clear the bench and maintain a comfortable lead to the final buzzer.
Mac’s player of the game was Milligan, who had a monster effort with 32 points and 11 rebounds.
The Marauders move into the tournament semi-finals and will play either Manitoba or the host Saint Mary’s Huskies on Sunday at 6 p.m. (EST).